Wednesday, February 18 2015
Opelika, AL -- California-based Golden State Foods will build a meat-processing plant in Opelika , bringing approximately 175 jobs to the area to produce hamburger patties and other ground beef products for the restaurant industry.
According to Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Golden State Foods officials, the project — announced during a teleconference Tuesday at Opelika Power Services — will mean a $50 million capital investment in Opelika .
“We want good-paying jobs. We think a lot of good things happen when good-paying jobs arrive,” Fuller said. “This will be 170-plus good-paying jobs in Opelika and the surrounding areas. It’s very exciting. It’s a brand-new sector for us. We have automotive, we have medical device manufacturing, we have vitamins, minerals and nutrition, and now we’ll be in the meat-processing business with Golden State Foods. It’s a nice fit for us.”
Based in Irvine , Calif., GSF is one of the largest diversified fast-food restaurant and retail industry suppliers. It services more than 125,000 restaurants from its 45 locations spread across five continents. GSF’s focuses include the processing and distribution of liquid products, meat products, produce and dairy.
GSF is a member of the McDonald’s supply chain, and according to GSF Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Sanderson, the Opelika plant will be responsible for production of 25 percent of meat products for McDonald’s restaurants across the nation.
“We’re thrilled to be coming to Alabama and this great city,” Sanderson said. “We are dedicated to this business that we’ll be conducting here, and we look forward to our continued partnership in bringing jobs and economic growth to Opelika and the (surrounding) area.”
Wayne Morgan, GSF’s corporate vice president and president of its meat group, said the choice of Opelika came down to several factors, including location and the business-friendly climate of the area.
“It took careful consideration,” Morgan said. “We looked at a lot of sites, but we feel this is a great area for us to locate our facility based on the strategic location along I-85, the available workforce and the atmosphere of industry and government cooperation.”
Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard said the announcement is more than a testament to Lee County ’s cooperation between government and prospective businesses. He added that the arrival of GSF helps Alabama remain on track toward becoming the most business-friendly state in the nation.
“It’s a wonderful day for Opelika and the state of Alabama . I’ve been very excited since I first learned about this opportunity, and I’m so happy that it’s come to fruition,” Hubbard said. “Listening to this company’s core values and mission, I can tell that it’s going to be a perfect fit.”
GSF plans to open the plant, which will be built in the Northeast Opelika Industrial Park , by fall 2016. Fuller said he expects that construction will begin in the next few weeks.
“We’ve been working on this project for about seven to nine months,” Fuller said. “We had some last-minute things we needed to resolve, and we got them resolved. We’ve got a lot of site prep to do, and that’s going to mean more construction jobs, which is another good thing for Opelika .”